Friday, May 07, 2010

My Partner In Crime

My pancreas isn't working so well. I started a new "medicine" today. It's not a chemotherapy drug. It's just a anti-cancer drug. Wanna know the difference? Good luck. I'm not really sure what the difference is. I don't really care to be honest. It doesn't matter. But I did have an allergic reaction to the drug which required that I receive a form of steroids in order to help me breath again. My breathing is still labored. But it's something I can live with for a few days as my body acclimates to the Vectibix and it's many side-effects.

The steroids essentially shut-down my pancreas and sends my blood sugar to the 300-600 range for a few days. Blood sugar that high is very dangerous and I'm sure I'll get tons of emails telling me just that. I am aware. Mostly it annoys me as I'm forced to eat almost no carbs and spend much of my time just trying to stay awake, rather than passing out from my monumental blood-sugars.

This isn't going to be a fun part of the journey that Kristin and I are on. It's not a drug I wanted to take. But we were both aware that I would probably be on it eventually. It's a drug they tend to give colo-rectal cancer patients when nothing else has worked. Taking this drug is sort of like signing the paper-work for your own funeral. It's all just a matter of time now.

As time begins slipping faster through my fingers, and toes really, than I ever imagined it could, each day becomes more and more important. This Sunday is Mother's day. It's an opportunity to show mom that you love her and, for those of us who already do that, give that extra boost that let's her know you couldn't have done it without her.

This will probably be my last Mother's day with my Mom.

I've always found it interesting that we call our parents different things. Some say mother, mom, ma, mama, etc. Mine has always been Mom. Why? It's less formal I guess. But not cutesy in any way. It's the briefest statement I can make to explain that my Mom is my friend. She always has been.

When I was a child, my Dad traveled for work quite a bit. He and I had a great relationship as he, and my Mom, went out of their way to make sure he and I had quality time together. And a lot of it. But whenever Dad was gone Mom and I would eat special meals (I bet you didn't know that Spanish Rice from a box was special. But it is.), watch movies Dad didn't like (I can't tell you how many Godzilla and Frankenstein "meets" somebody movies she sat through for me.) and she'd help me with homework or crafts or drawings. Most of all she listened to me.

All the time I spent growing up my Mom always listened. Don't get me wrong. As I grew older we argued a lot too. Drove my Dad batty and still does today. But she always listened. She never turned me away with an, "I don't want to hear it," or such. Later, as I started delivering news papers, she would sit and help me roll them one by one. I'm old enough to have delivered newspapers by throwing them from bags on my bike to waiting porches... and sometimes waiting bushes. She'd help me roll them and rubber-band them. If it was raining there was many a day she drove, papers in the back seat, with me running in and out and beside the car.

I'm thirty-seven years old and my Mom still asks me where my coat is when I walk into the house. I have never worn a coat with any regularity. But she always asks. If I stop by her work to say, "Hi," she always takes time to talk with me, tries to buy me a soda from the break-room and introduces me, with pride mind you, to each and every one of her co-workers. Sometimes it's almost as if she hopes they haven't met me so she can introduce me again.

Thirty-seven years and she's still my friend... and my Mom. She thinks I'm a good son. Even though I'm leaving much sooner than any of us had planned. Leaving my Dad and Mom to fend for themselves when they should have their son nearby to take care of them, help them hook up cable, buy them the occasional breakfast, or just come over and listen... as they have for years with me. Even though... all that... she still says I'm a good son.

"I remember my mother's prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life." - Abraham Lincoln

She's the best Mom any kid, teen or, now, adult could ever ask God to put in his or her life. I'm tremendously blessed that she is my Mom. I couldn't have gotten here without her and I wouldn't know where I was going if she hadn't been there to help guide me.

My parents are incredible. I am unworthy of their love. But just like God, they love me in spite of what I've done. When I do finally die, sooner than later, I know that there will be friends at my funeral. Because I know my wife, my Dad and my Mom will all be there.

Not everyone can call their mother a friend. I can. I hope she'll always know how completely important she was in getting me across that finish line.

My Mom playing video games with me (shortly after my first surgery) with her Grandpuppy, Belle, in her lap.

My Mom and I. I have no idea what year. Probably 1979 or so.

My Mom after enjoying a blue lollypop with Josie in New York.
Whether she, or my Dad, would like to admit it or not...
this picture is probably the best representation of who she is today. I love her.


Also wik: For those of you emailing me and asking about the rubber bracelets that say, "CANCER SUCKS... LIFE IS GOOD! CHOOSE JOY!" They're still coming. Hopefully this week I'll get some in and can start making them available before Kristin and I go to California. Thank you for your patience. We have very little money, ordered the bracelets and then the company we ordered from disappeared for a while. Blah, blah, blah. It's all working out now... I think.


corey said...

Thanks again for simple and beautiful reminders of all that is good in life. I can not thank you enough for being willing to share your perspective. it again makes me wan to live more loud and clear, the kind of love that is real. You are a blessing. I'll choose joy.
(worshiper @ Christ Fellowship)

Maryn said...

Aaron - I hope my sons see me this way someday. Your tribute made me proud to be a "Mom." -Maryn

Valerie said...

Hi! You sent me a message on Twitter, but Twitter wouldn't let me reply to you! So, I began following you when I read your story as posted by one of my friends from Christ Fellowship. My husband I both attend there (somewhat infrequently, as we live in Roseburg). Reading what little I have about you has been so inspiring, and I am definitely praying for you and your wife! Hopefully I'll see you at Christ Fellowship soon!

~Valerie Reinhard